Even if you are getting traffic to your site from organic search, you should consider paid search engine marketing, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. These are ads for your company that appear at the top or to the right in the search engine results page (SERP) when a customer searches for products or services that you offer. It works by letting you bid on keywords relevant to your business (for example, through Google AdWords), displaying your targeted ad when people search for that term. It gives you a boost, potentially pushing your business to the front page despite your organic search rankings. And what's more, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Here are five best practices for developing an effective PPC campaign for your business.
The effectiveness of PPC depends on your choice of keywords, which means you should know who your target customer is and which words they'll use to search for your products. Then bid on these keywords — which, of course, should be closely related to your product offerings. Instead of relying on historically used words, think about your customer and your products to give yourself a competitive edge. There are also tools, like Google's Keyword Planner, that you can use to do research for keyword ideas.
In AdWords, you can place your bids automatically, which allows the search engine to manage your cost-per-click (CPC) by setting a maximum daily spend. Or you can set it manually, to give you more control over how traffic is driven to your site. You can also set a higher budget that will focus on showing your listing to those more likely to convert. If you opt for flexible bidding, AdWords can increase or decrease your bids to ensure a top-of-page or first page position. The key here is to have clear objectives and an appropriate budget. Bidding is a key element in controlling your ad placement and your budget.
Are your competitors getting better placement in SERP? Perhaps you need to look at what keywords they're using. Your digital expert can help you with this, or you can use tools such as Keyword Spy to help monitor your competitors' campaigns and assess how they are impacting your own.
As you identify and update your keywords and ad groups, make sure your landing pages are focused and relevant. If visitors are interested in your winter clothing range, make sure that's where they land, and not your home page. Keep your copy engaging and relevant, and your call-to-action buttons clear. Ensure the visitors clearly understand the best way to contact your business.
Manage Your Campaign
It's important to review your campaign on a regular basis and check out Google's guide to conversion tracking. Make adjustments and see if they increase your clicks. Keep your keywords up-to-date and relevant. Identify any expensive keywords that are underperforming and delete them, experiment with adding new keywords and create smaller ad groups focused on specific product types to create more targeted ads and landing pages.
Given a clear purpose and well-researched strategy, paid search engine marketing can be a powerful tool in your digital marketing kit — which makes it an investment you can't afford to overlook.